HSJ’s round-up of Thursday’s must read stories and talking points

Wye Valley’s mixed bag

On Thursday we revealed that the recently departed chair of Wye Valley Trust was bankrupt for nearly three months before he resigned and that he didn’t notify colleagues either within the organisation or at the regulator, NHS Improvement.

Museji Takolia resigned as chair on 14 October – 11 weeks after he was declared bankrupt. His departure was not announced by the trust or NHS Improvement. He is also the ministerially appointed chair of the Pensions Advisory Service, from which he is currently on “special leave”.

NHS Improvement confirmed that under the fit and proper persons test “we would not seek to appoint or re-appoint an individual who was discovered to be an undischarged bankrupt”.

Despite all this, it has been an excellent day for Wye Valley Trust: it has been announced that they will leave the special measures regime after the Care Quality Commission identified some significant improvements in care.

The CQC report is based on an inspection which took place in July. It found some outstanding practice in paediatrics, and described improvements in morale. Trust leaders, the regulator said, should be proud of their achievements.

South Warwickshire Foundation Trust’s leaders will probably be feeling proud too, since their input via a buddying relationship with Wye Valley has impressed national leaders enough for a formal tie-up to be in train.

STPs revealed amid council objections

Another day, another wave of STP news has come your way.

First, councils in the north west London sustainability and transformation patch said they could not endorse their STP because of assumptions in the plan about the downgrading of Charing Cross. Hammersmith and Fulham’s council leader said it “totally opposed” the plan.

Meanwhile, the leaders of five councils in west Yorkshire told NHS England they have not been given proper scrutiny of the West Yorkshire and Harrogate STP, according to a letter that appeared on social media.

The disgruntled councillors appear to have the support of social care minister David Mowat, who told a conference that STPs would be regarded by the Department of Health as “incomplete” if councils believed they had been marginalised in the process.

Two STP submissions also emerged on Thursday. The plan for Cheshire and Mersey, which HSJ saw a leaked copy of, includes the downgrade of at least one A&E department, along with a major consolidation of elective care.

The document for Luton, Bedford and Milton Keynes shows plans for “unified leadership, management and operations across all three hospitals” on the patch, but says they will not formally merge.